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The TV Shows with the Best Writing

Updated September 3, 2020 57.3k votes 4.6k voters 69.2k views201 items

List RulesVote up the television series with the most consistently great writing

What are the best written TV shows of all time? The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and TV Guide recently compiled its list of the 101 Best Written TV Shows ever, and the results left things wide open for debate. So, do you agree with the choices? Was there a show left off? Vote for the TV programs that you believe featured the strongest writing. Add any shows that you believe deserve votes, and of course, feel free to re-rank this list of TV series with the greatest writing in any order you choose.

Many of the television shows listed here are considered among the best TV shows of recent memory, and with good reason: They are wonderfully scripted, featuring diverse characters and compelling storylines that made us want to keep watching, week after week. They are excellent dramas, outstanding comedies and awesome science fiction TV shows. Some of the programs here are older, but they were considered by many to be groundbreaking.

What should be the number one best written TV show ever? Certainly outstanding shows like 'The Sopranos,' 'Mad Men' and 'Breaking Bad' could be considered. They are, after all, some of the greatest TV dramas of all time.
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  • Breaking Bad1
    1,164
    748

    Breaking Bad

    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Thriller, Neo-western, Tragedy

    Breaking Bad (AMC, 2008) is an American neo-Western crime drama television series created by... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Sopranos2
    737
    670

    The Sopranos

    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama

    The Sopranos (HBO, 1999) is an American crime drama television series created by David Chase.... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Wire3
    496
    506

    The Wire

    Dominic West, Lance Reddick

    Premiered2002

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Police procedural, Drama

    The Wire (HBO, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created and written by David... more on Wikipedia

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  • Better Call Saul4
    315
    214

    Better Call Saul

    Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama, Comedy

    Better Call Saul (AMC, 2015) is an American television drama series created by Vince Gilligan... more on Wikipedia

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  • Fargo5
    184
    164

    Fargo

    Billy Bob Thornton, Allison Tolman

    Premiered2014

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama, Crime

    Fargo (FX, 2014) is an American black comedy drama anthology television series created by Noah... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Office6
    494
    507

    The Office

    Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Mockumentary

    The Office (NBC, 2005) is an American mockumentary sitcom television series developed by Greg... more on Wikipedia

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  • Frasier7
    319
    272

    Frasier

    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves

    Premiered1993

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Frasier (NBC, 1993) is an American sitcom television series created by David Angell, Peter... more on Wikipedia

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  • Sherlock8
    539
    594

    Sherlock

    Benedict Cumberbatch, Martin Freeman

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Mystery

    Sherlock (BBC One, 2010) is a British crime television series created by Steven Moffat and... more on Wikipedia

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  • The West Wing9
    430
    476

    The West Wing

    Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Political drama, Drama, Serial drama

    The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin... more on Wikipedia
  • The Twilight Zone10
    526
    545

    The Twilight Zone

    Rod Serling, Robert McCord

    Premiered1959

    Genres (Tv)Anthology, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Science Fiction

    The Twilight Zone is a 1959 American television anthology series created by Rod Serling. It is... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Americans11
    61
    42

    The Americans

    Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Period drama, Thriller

    The Americans (FX, 2013) is an American period drama television series created by Joe... more on Wikipedia

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  • Mad Men12
    496
    537

    Mad Men

    Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss

    Premiered2007

    Genres (Tv)Period drama, Serial drama

    Mad Men (AMC, 2007) is an American period drama television series created by Matthew Weiner.... more on Wikipedia

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  • Mr. Robot13
    142
    101

    Mr. Robot

    Rami Malek, Carly Chaikin

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Techno thriller, Psychological thriller

    Mr. Robot (USA Network, 2015) is an American drama-thriller television series created by Sam... more on Wikipedia

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  • Fawlty Towers14
    190
    206

    Fawlty Towers

    John Cleese, Prunella Scales

    Premiered1975

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    Fawlty Towers is a BBC television sitcom that was first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975 and 1979.... more on Wikipedia

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  • House15
    556
    455

    House

    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Medical drama

    House, M.D. (Fox, 2004) is an American television medical drama created by David Shore. An... more on Wikipedia

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  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel16
    46
    36

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

    Rachel Brosnahan, Michael Zegen

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-Drama, Period drama

    The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Video, 2017) is an American period comedy-drama web... more on Wikipedia

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  • Seinfeld17
    666
    755

    Seinfeld

    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Premiered1989

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy

    Seinfeld is an American television sitcom that originally ran for nine seasons on NBC from... more on Wikipedia

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  • Game of Thrones18
    792
    911

    Game of Thrones

    Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Medieval fantasy, Drama, Adventure film, Epic, Action

    Game of Thrones (HBO, 2011) is an American fantasy drama television series created by David... more on Wikipedia

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  • Anne with an E19
    195
    57

    Anne with an E

    Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Coming of age

    Anne with an E (2017, Netflix) is a Canadian television series created by Moira... more on Wikipedia

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  • Star Trek: The Next Generation20
    201
    221

    Star Trek: The Next Generation

    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner

    Premiered1987

    Genres (Tv)Action/Adventure, Drama, Adventure film, Action, Science Fiction

    Star Trek: The Next Generation is an American science fiction television series created by... more on Wikipedia

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  • True Detective21
    239
    283

    True Detective

    Mahershala Ali, Matthew McConaughey

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Crime Fiction, Drama

    True Detective (HBO, 2014) is an American anthology drama television series created by Nic... more on Wikipedia

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  • M*A*S*H22
    458
    531

    M*A*S*H

    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers

    Premiered1972

    Genres (Tv)Black comedy, Medical drama, Sitcom, Satire, Military

    M*A*S*H is an American television series developed by Larry Gelbart, adapted from the 1970... more on Wikipedia
  • Stranger Things23
    120
    131

    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

    Stranger Things (Netflix, 2016) is an American science fiction-horror web television series... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3rd Rock from the Sun24
    73
    59

    3rd Rock from the Sun

    John Lithgow, Jane Curtin

    Premiered1996

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom, Comedy, Science Fiction

    3rd Rock from the Sun is an American sitcom that aired from 1996 to 2001 on NBC. The show is... more on Wikipedia
  • Firefly25
    208
    244

    Firefly

    Nathan Fillion, Gina Torres

    Premiered2002

    Genres (Tv)Space Western, Space opera, Drama, Comedy-drama, Science Fiction

    Firefly is an American space western science fiction drama television series created by writer... more on Wikipedia

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